Discover the Original Soul Man: TSC's Mid-South Schools Tour Hits the Road this Week with "Shake(s), Rattle & Roll"

(Memphis, TN, October 15, 2013) – It's hip. It's cool. Students can discover chart-topping, toe-tapping, feet-stomping, get-out-of-your-seat-and-move-with-it SHAKESPEARE – direct from Memphis!

Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South's professional classical theatre, launches its new schools touring show this week with the Memphis-inspired Shake(s), Rattle & Roll.

Created by TSC Education Director Stephanie Shine and featuring actors Slade Kyle and Cara McHugh, Shake(s), Rattle & Roll is booking now in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the Mid-South. Last year, the tour played to 6,000 students in the South. This year's tour will exceed that capacity while touring across the state and into North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky.

Shake(s), Rattle & Roll is a 45-minute, tour-de-force that imagines both a social and artistic through-line between the plays of William Shakespeare and the music that makes Memphis unique – Blues, Gospel, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, and Rock-n-Roll.

 

Scenes from Shakespeare's plays include Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Richard II, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night, and The Taming of the Shrew. Music from the on-stage jukebox includes chart-toppers from Sam and Dave, Carl Perkins, Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Big Joe Turner, and Rev. Al Green.

"Shake(s), Rattle, and Roll allows Tennessee Shakespeare Company the opportunity to introduce students to two forces of change in our shared human experience: the plays of William Shakespeare and Memphis music from the 50's and 60's," says Shine.

"It's a joy to find the common links between these major artistic achievements while giving our young people an insight into what classical theatre can offer them. It's also wonderful to highlight many of the reasons we have to be proud of Memphis, the state of Tennessee, and the Mid-South."

Schools may book the show with actor-talkback now through May 9, 2014, for their student groups of up to 100 for just $450. Call TSC's Education Office at (901) 759-0620 to book your school or class. Teachers and chaperones are admitted free. Travel costs may vary.

Who's Who

Catie Broadwater (Stage Manager) returns for her second season with Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Her TSC credits include Unto the Breach, It's a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged), Macbeth, Southern Yuletide, the schools tour of Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, and The Glass Menagerie. Catie comes from Nashville, where she works as a Stage Manager. Most recently, she was a stage management assistant for the pre-Broadway production of The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis. A few of her theatre credits include Studio Tenn's The Glass Menagerie; Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre's Sherlock Holmes and It's a Wonderful Wife; 3Ps Production's John & Jen and Long Way Down, Parallel Lives, Oklahoma, Ramona Quimby, Baby, Spirit: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch of Tennessee; and Nashville Shakespeare Festival's The Tempest. She is a graduate from MTSU, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre.

Bruce Bui (Costume Designer) designed TSC's Unto the Breach!, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), It's a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Rebel Shakespeare and His Women, and Shakespeare's Greatest Hits. Originally from Southern California, Bruce now lives in Memphis and is going into his twelfth season as the Wardrobe Director and Resident Costume Designer for Ballet Memphis. His works can be seen regularly on the Orpheum stage and numerous other venues around the Mid-South, and have been praised as "dazzling" by Critical Dance Magazine, and a "Master of Chiffon" by The Commercial Appeal. He has also worked with The Western Stage (Always, Patsy Cline), Cabrillo Musical Theatre (Funny Girl), Santa Susanna Repertory Theatre (Shiloh, War of the World), and Kingsmen Shakespeare Company (As You Like It), among others. Some of his specialty garments can be seen on Mrs. Tennessee for Mrs. America 2005, At Home Tennessee Magazine's featured wedding issue 2007, and The Memphis Mystic Krew 2005 court. Bruce also has worked on several commercials in the Mid-South.

Slade Kyle (Actor, Education Manager) as a founding member and former SEWA Professional Wrestler is well versed in many forms of Stage Combat, and serves as TSC's resident Fight Director. TSC credits: The Glass Menagerie (Tom), The Tempest (Fight Director, Prelude Scene Director), Romeo and Juliet Schools Tour (Friar Lawrence/Mercutio/Peter/Abram, Fight Director), Macbeth (Malcolm), Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio/Prince/Gregory/Friar John, Fight Director, Prelude Scene Director), Themes From a Midsummer Night with IRIS Orchestra (Puck), Othello (Fight Director, Prelude Scene Director), Julius Caesar (Prelude Scene Director), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck, Fight Director), As You Like It (Oliver, Fight Choreographer). Slade graduated Summa Cum Laude with his BFA from the University of Memphis, focusing on Physical Theatre and Pedagogy.

Cara McHugh (Actor, Journeyman Artist-Manager) is originally from Memphis and received her BA from Murray State University with a dual major in Theatre and Political Science. Cara received her MFA in the Performance program at the University of Louisville, where she graduated recently with a Dean's Citation in Academic Excellence. Cara performed in UofL's Sleep Rock thy Brain, The Artifacts, Richard III, Plays: A Play, A Perfect Wedding, and How I Learned to Drive. She also performed in Reasons to Be Pretty and Misses Strata at the Bard's Town Theatre in Louisville, where she served as a Board member. While in Louisville, Cara taught children's theatre for Encore Youth Theatre and Adelante Hispanic Achievers.

Stephanie Shine+ (Director, Education Director, General Manager) TSC directorial work includes It's a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Shakespeare's Greatest Hits, Southern Yuletide, Romeo and Juliet, and The Rebel Shakespeare and His Women. During her 18 years with Seattle Shakespeare Company, 13 as Artistic Director, she directed 17 productions, including The Threepenny Opera, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the lauded all-male Taming of the Shrew. A well-known actress in the Northwest, Stephanie has performed for Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, ACT, The Empty Space, Seattle Children's Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Tacoma Actors Guild. Regionally, she appeared with the Oregon and New Jersey Shakespeare Festivals, Houston's Alley Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, and NYC's Theatre for a New Audience. Her Shakespeare roles include Juliet, Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Regan, Feste, Kate, Bianca, Dionyza, The Princess of France, Hero, Perdita, and The Chorus in Henry V. + Member of The Society of Directors and Choreographers, Inc., an independent national labor union.

News

  • New Permanent Year-Round Home for TSC
  • New Germantown Municipal School District Partnership
  • New Company d and Memphis VA Partnerships
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Our 10th Anniversary Gala

We have Purchased the Former Ballet Memphis Property to Create the State’s First Permanent, Year-Round Home for Professional Shakespeare Performance, Education, and Training in Memphis

pic newhome tsc2017(August 31) -- Tennessee Shakespeare Company today announced it has purchased the former facility and property of Ballet Memphis located at 7950 Trinity Road in Memphis as its first, permanent home. 

The announcement was made by Dan McCleary, the company’s founder and Producing Artistic Director; Owen B. Tabor, the company’s Board President for the past six years; and E. Frank Bluestein, the company’s founding Executive Director.

With this acquisition, Tennessee Shakespeare Company is preparing to create the first and only permanent, year-round home for professional Shakespeare performance, education, and training in the state of Tennessee.

TSC purchased the 18,484 square foot facility outright from Ballet Memphis for $1,900,000.  There is no mortgage. 

TSC, now beginning its tenth anniversary season, expects to begin interior renovation this year and be completed in Spring 2018.

The renovation will focus on modifying existing dance studios into a state-of-the-art, professional, flexible theatre for seating up to 200 patrons, as well as a spacious Education Wing.  The public lobby, restrooms, and support areas for the theatre also will be modified.

Centrally located to all of Shelby County just north of Walnut Grove Road, between Germantown Road and the northeast corner of Shelby Farms Park, the unique glass-and-steel facility will house all of TSC’s operations under one roof:  performances, training, education, administrative offices, storage, costume shop, scene shop, and commercial kitchen.  The facility was constructed in 1998, and an addition was built in 2012.  It affords parking for nearly 70 cars.

TSC and Ballet Memphis, longtime arts colleagues whose artistic staffs have collaborated over the years, entered into a Purchase & Sale Agreement in late June.  The sale represents one Memphis not-for-profit arts organization selling to another for re-use of a special purpose building.  TSC’s agent was W. Cary Whitehead III of Boyle Investment Company.

For the last nine years, TSC has created site-specific/environmental Shakespeare and classical productions, both indoors and outside, throughout Shelby County, partnering with long-time friends Dixon Gallery & Gardens, the University of Memphis, St. George’s Church, Shelby Farms Park, Germantown City Hall, Poplar Pike Playhouse, Hutchison School, and Germantown Performing Arts Center.

“This is an important moment in Memphis performing arts,” said Dr. Tabor.  “We have researched more than 50 sites in the last few years, and the former Ballet property is perfect for our needs and for what our audiences say they would like.  The Ballet’s new home in Overton Square is so impressive, and they have been wonderful to work with during this transaction.  We wish them tremendous success.  We appreciate that this special building is the launch pad for exciting futures for two important arts groups in Memphis.

Read More

Announcing a New, Multi-Year Partnership with the Germantown Municipal School District for Cutting-Edge Classical Curriculum for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students

pic germantown partnership1Tennessee Shakespeare Company and the Germantown Municipal School District today announced a unique, multi-year education partnership that will bring immersive, cutting-edge Shakespeare curriculum to life for every student in grades five, seven, and nine.

Starting with this school year, all GMSD fifth and seventh grade students will participate in an introductory, immersive playshop to prepare and excite them for experiencing a full, live performance of TSC’s self-created production of Shakes, Rattle, and Roll.  The show pays tribute to our hometown heritage, creatively linking the signature music of Memphis to the works of Shakespeare that could have inspired them.

All ninth grade students will be treated to TSC’s nationally-acclaimed Romeo and Juliet Project, a four-part interactive residency that concludes with an intimate and riveting live performance of Romeo and Juliet.

The Project, originally launched at Germantown High School seven years ago and now operating in many Shelby County Schools, transforms classrooms into playing spaces to change students' expectations and reception of the material. The residency begins with three sessions that engage the students in playing three different parts of the play.  The positive impact on the students’ grades, compassion level, engagement in continued exploration of classical texts, and their rehearsed ability to walk away from potentially life-threatening situations in their own lives has proven quantifiable and remarkable in the scores of schools in which TSC has taught over the past eight years. 

Read More

New, Exciting TSC Partnerships with Company d and the Memphis VA, and Expanding Programs with Jail East and Hope Academy

“TSC gives them models to express their feelings, which they probably have never done.  For maybe the first time in their lives, they think about the world around them and their role in the community.”

- Joyce Anderson, Juvenile Manager, Shelby County Sheriff's Office

pic tns HopeAcademy6
Hope Academy residency participants

We are thrilled to announce new partnerships between TSC and Company d and the Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Association.  Also this month (August), we are happily expanding our Shakespeare programs for adjudicated youth at both Jail East and Hope Academy.

TSC is spending August in residence with Company d.  Nationally recognized, Company d is a dance company of young adults with Down syndrome under the artistic direction of choreographer Darlene Winters.  Founded in 2001, Company d is committed to inspire, empower, and teach individuals with Down syndrome who have an inherent aptitude for the performing arts.

TSC Education Manager Carmen-maria Mandley and TSC Education artists guide participants through the tumultuous world of Romeo and Juliet.  Using movement and text, the dancers are immersed in Shakespeare's images and encouraged to discover their personal connection with the characters of the play.

"Company d dancers are having a dynamic experience with TSC this week,” says Winters, Company d founder and Artistic Director.  “The play and its language are being brought to life with interactive methods.  The partnership with Tennessee Shakespeare Company is the first partnership with a theatre company in this region.  I am so excited about this new and unique experience for individuals with Down syndrome, which will enrich artistic growth and expand cultural literacy skills."

Also in August, TSC begins working with veterans at the Memphis VA Medical Association. This program brings together service veterans with theatre practitioners to use the plays of Shakespeare in addressing combat-related traumatic and re-integration issues. The model, created by the Feast of Crispian Project in Milwaukee, WI, was created to strengthen the personal psychological resources available to service veterans - especially those with post-deployment health issues - through the practice and skills of theatre combined with the timeless themes and imagistic language of Shakespeare.

Read More

Tennessee Shakespeare Company
presents its first Mainstage production of madcap
The Comedy of Errors

in partnership with the University of Memphis’
Department of Theatre & Dance
June 8-18

pic comedy of errors0200

Joey Shaw (Antipholus of Syracuse) and Blake Currie (Dromio of Syracuse).

Tennessee Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, presents William Shakespeare’s madcap, joyous The Comedy of Errors on the U of M’s Theatre Mainstage from June 8-18.

Featuring a professional cast of actor-musicians and directed by Shakespeare & Company co-founder Tony Simotes, the production sets Shakespeare’s shortest, wildest play in the exotic and dangerous Greece of 1600.

The story features two sets of identical twins, who, along with their parents, were separated shortly after birth on the high seas.  Now, more than 20 years later, Antipholus (the master) and Dromio (his servant) come to a new land that is hostile to foreigners.  Little do they know, their father, chasing after them, is imprisoned and faces execution at sunset for crossing the border unless he can find someone to pay his bail.  And little do they know, their identical twin brothers live here!  It makes for the funniest, most bizarre day in the country until a final familial revelation changes everyone’s lives forever.

Returning to TSC as the Antipholus twins are Joey Shaw (Romeo; King in All’s Well That Ends Well; Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Colton Swibold (title role in Henry V last year).  Returning as the clowning Dromio servants are Nic Picou and Blake Currie (both from Henry V).

Making her TSC debut as Antipholus’ wife Adrianna is U of M alum Claire Hayner, and returning to play her sister Luciana is Rachel Brun (Juliet; Lady Anne in Richard III; Antonio in Twelfth Night; Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Read More

Save the Date for Our 10th Anniversary Gala

We are saving a table for YOU to join us for our 10th Anniversary Season Gala!  Mark your calendar now for Saturday, April 7, 2018, when we bring you a celebratory evening of performance and dinner in the beautiful ballroom of the Memphis Hilton.

 pic gala save the date 2018b

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is generously supported by:

Boyle         FedEx         Tennessee Arts Commission

International Paper             University of Memphis  logo-arts-memphis



     First Tenneessee Foundation    

logo nea 2016 footer    

logo-ibank


Individual Season Sponsors:

Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund; Nancy Copp; Ernest, Pat, Martha, and Marian Kelly; Milton T. Schaeffer; The Family of Owen and Margaret Tabor;
Ann and Wellford Tabor.

Season Partners:

Boyle Investment Company, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Hutchison School, Shelby County Schools, St. George’s Church, The University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is a proud member of:
Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence       ArtsMemphis    logo-gacc          Tennesseans for the Arts     Tennessee Theatre Association     Where We Live